Washington Nationals: 5 Potential Team Changing Moves
Five Potential Team Shake-Ups
At 37-38 and a disappointing series split with Colorado, Washington continues to flirt with mediocrity. Jayson Werth is hurt ... again, and Dan Haren has (finally) been pulled from the rotation for a DL stint with Shoulder Stiffness. Needless to say, Mike Rizzo is not in the position he thought he would be in on June 24, 2013. Washington needs to get healthy, this is a fact, and could also be the key to their struggles. Guys like Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos are not far away from triumphant returns, as Harper is due to begin a rehab stint around Wednesday, and Ramos is still about a week away from his own rehab.
Washington's biggest issue has been their offense, and Harper and Ramos can both seriously help the offense. Kurt Suzuki is a walking bruise right now, and Ramos' return could allow Suzuki much needed days off to rest up and get back on track offensively. Washington's outfield has been a complete and total mess without Harper, and now, potentially without Werth, who pulled his groin presumably yesterday, on top of being out of Saturday's lineup with "flu-like symptoms." Basically, everything that has gone wrong for Washington in 2013 has gone wrong.
With the trade deadline getting closer every day, Rizzo may have no choice but to make some sort of flurry of moves, much like the moves we saw him make in the beginning of this month, making six roster moves in one day.
Here are five potential team shake-up moves Rizzo could make, and believe me, nobody is or should be safe
5) Dan Haren Released, Jordan/Rosebaum/Ohlendorf Take Spot
Haren is now on the DL with shoulder stiffness, and had a 3.58 ERA coming off the DL last year for the LA Angels. Washington has guys in the Minors in Taylor Jordan (0.73 ERA in Double-A) and Danny Rosenbaum (3.76 ERA in Triple-A) that could come up and take Haren's rotation spot, along with Ohlendorf, who is already at the Major League Level. I think it's safe to say that Haren's days in D.C. are numbered.
4) Danny Espinosa, Others Packaged in Trade for Big Pitcher
Price, Garza, Gallardo, etc. Espinosa, now in Triple-A, has been moved to Shortstop, presumably to show his versatility to boost his trade value. Espinosa still has the potential, and the Major League proof, to be the centerpiece of a big trade, if not a really good throw in. With Rendon's emergence, Espinosa probably doesn't have a spot to come back to.
3) Rick Eckstein Gets Fired
Washington's offense has been an issue for quite a few years now. Rick Eckstein is Washington's most hated man when the Nationals don't hit, and most ignored when they do. However, if Washington gets healthy and continues not to hit, Eckstein could be gone.
2) Washington Gets Bench Makeover
The "Goon Squad" in 2013 has been a non factor in most games, though recently, Chad Tracy has had some clutch pinch hit home runs. Washington could, at some point, make big decisions on guys like Bernadina, who really hasn't hit all season. At some point, Washington needs to cut its losses.
1) Davey Johnson is Fired
What? You're nuts! Well, yes, as a guy like Johnson is not going to get fired, especially in his "last hurrah" season. But if Washington continues their current play, anything could happen, including Rizzo and Davey agreeing to "part ways." This probably will not happen, but at some point, Washington may exhibit a desperation move.